The antics of Rambro, an angry ram from New Zealand who knocks people off motorbikes and crushes punching bags, may appear to be little more than misplaced aggression. In the video above, which went viral after Halloween, Rambro hunts down terrified trick or treaters. But what initially looks like a terrifying standoff is actually the product of a beautiful collaboration between a man and the natural biological instincts of his ram.
Rambro is the most popular star of the angry ram Youtube channel, which is managed by Marty Todd, who took Rambro under his wing over ten years ago. Rambro, he says, was just as aggressive then as he is today.
“I got him from a farmer back in around 2007,” Todd tells Inverse. “The farmer was getting tired of him destroying fences and chasing the farmer and his dogs, so I let Rambro and a ewe loose on my 100-acre forest block. The first time he saw me riding the motorbike, he rammed me from the side and nearly broke my leg.”
Todd instantly recognized the viral potential of his new friend.
Aggressive as Rambro seems, he’s not particularly abnormal when it comes to rams. In fact, as the farmer who originally owned him might attest, many sheep farmers often struggle with the aggression of their rams. The University of Illnois livestock extension maintains a helpful spreadsheet explaining that when rams attack humans, they’re likely making a play for dominance, or as they put it, they’re looking to see who is “top ram.”
Biologically speaking, this is an example of male-on-male competition, a breeding scenarios in which one male can “earn” access to a pool of potential female mates. Big horn sheep, for example, and engage in head-butting contests in which the victor is allowed to spread his seed throughout the entire female group, and the loser is effectively humiliated until next season.
Practically speaking, running from this ram is likely not a great idea as it allows the animal to achieve dominance, which the University of Illinois says will likely encourage the behavior. When it comes to fighting off an angry ram, they suggest, it’s best to fight fire with fire.
We suggest that you hit him over the head with the feed bucket, scream at him as loud as you can, knock him off his feet if possible and chase him away. Your goal is to humiliate him and not to hurt him.
But Todd indicates that he has no intentions of fighting back against Rambro’s natural instincts. Todd and Rambro have entered into a lucrative partnership that has catapulted both to low-grade internet fame. For instance Rambro has taken on a Japanese comedian who flew to New Zealand for the express purpose of doing battle with him under the watch of a full film crew.
Projects like these have actually supplemented Todd’s income, aiding him in his quest to live completely off the grid — he supplies all his power through a homespun washing machine. So, it seems like Todd and Rambro will be business partners for days to come.
“A few years into it, Youtube offered me partnership so I could earn a few dollars from my vids, I recognized the viral potential of Rambro hitting the bike so I strapped the GoPro on and let him do his thing. The rest is history,” he says.